Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just can't win.

I had an appointment with my NP this morning. She is the doctor I see in regards to my ADHD and ADHD medications. I had an appointment at 10:00 and my sister (who also sees her) had an appointment at 10:30. We were going to carpool. I woke up at 10:15, just in time to see my sister leaving the house. I've left several messages for the NP and her assistant (plus an e-mail to the assistant) with no word back. The funny thing is, the doctor joked to my sister, "We need to tweak her meds!" That's exactly what I made the appointment for; 20mg of extended release Dexedrine work well, but I can tell that going a little higher would be beneficial. So hopefully I can get an appointment set up soon. Being on vacation this week, I'm trying to live normal hours as much as possible before going back to work Saturday night. [Update: Heard back from assitant (e-mail). DocMeds is out of town for the rest of the week, so I'm trying to see what she's got available next week. I'll be out of meds until then, but I only have to work Saturday, so I'm not going to freak out.]

In other medical news, I just heard back from my (regular) doctor.

  • The good: I'm no longer vitamin D deficient. The doc wants me to take the supplement every other day, rather than once a day.
  • The bad: I am low on vitamin B12 and iron.

Doc wants me to take a multivitamin and recommends the one they sell at the office. It's $22 for 90 capsules, which...GAH. Or I could take an OTC one. I do take a multi-vitamin every day at work; I take the Cholestoff, the garlic pill, the omega pills and the B vitamins (plus the multi) on my 11:00 break every day. If I remember, I take my sublingual b12 supplement on my second break at the end of the night.

I'm hesitant to buy the supplement from my doctor because the nurse told me it was more easily absorbed; I know that animal-derived iron is more easily absorbable than non-animal, so I don't want to take that shit. Instead, I'm looking at foods that are high in iron. One website lists enriched breakfast cereals, cooked beans and lentils, and pumpkins seeds as excellent sources of iron. Good courses are: canned beans, baked potato with skin, enriched pasta and canned asparagus. This same website lists as iron absorption enhancers: orange, OJ, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit, etc. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green and red peppers, and white wine. As iron absorption inhibitors, it lists: red wine, coffee and tea, spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and sweet potatoes, also whole grain, bran and soy products.

So it seems like no matter what foods you eat, something's fucking something else up. I could have sworn that spinach was a good source of iron. Ironically, I have spinach, soy and whole grain products every day, and I hold back on the citrus fruit because it tends to negate or lessen the efficacy of my ADHD medication.

She didn't say anything about my cholesterol, so I'm assuming that's no longer a concern. I also forgot to ask about my thyroid. Grubs says that her concern over my thyroid (and my low iron and B12) is because I never eat. I have seen myself adopting the stance that it's better to miss a couple of meals than to add extra meals, and that's not good. It's good that I'm not overeating, but by missing meals, I'm afraid I might possibly move into eating disorder territory. All I really need to do is figure out how to eat well and get enough exercise to where I can eat lots of good food and still lose weight. My doctor might be concerned about my thyroid because of how much weight I've lost. I don't think I've lost enough, but perhaps she thinks it's strange that it came off so "easily." She does know I'm on Dexedrine, but maybe she doesn't realize or remember that it kills your appetite.

At any rate, I'm really happy that my D is up because I know realize how bad that is for you.

I have vowed to eat more oatmeal, though, and I think that has helped. I have found that added chopped walnuts to it makes it more palatable. I love oatmeal, I just can't eat very much of it. I figure I'll just get some plain soy milk and add a bit of that (I make oatmeal with water), as well as some cinnamon or maybe carob powder and some walnuts. That's a good breakfast. Plus, I need to start drinking my smoothies again when I get home from work. That way I get get a good dose of vitamin C without having to worry about it effecting my meds.

Ok. A little research. For iron, I just need to eat cashews, rice, tofu, lentils and garbanzo beans. I thought rice was an inhibitor, though? Anyway. I figure I'll just decrease the amount of spinach I put in my salad and throw in garbanzo beans as well. I reckon I just need to put some effort into my meals. My biggest meal is what I have for lunch at work every day, and that is a big salad of mixed greens and spinach (with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top); followed by brown/long grain rice with some sort of wheat meat thrown in. Or it'll be jasmine rice. That's pretty much all I eat. When I get up, I usually just take my meds and let the dogs out and then forget to eat. By the time I remember, I don't feel like eating. Or I'll just have a piece of bread. When I get home from work, same thing. So I need to be smart and eat for my health, not for convenience. This sounds really good...



designerd said...


I'm anemic. Rather, I become anemic if I don't take iron supplements.

Don't waste your time trying to fix low-iron with high-iron foods. For me, that really doesn't work. Apparently, I have a serious problem absorbing iron from foods. I eat tons of spinach and broccoli but still become severely anemic without the iron pills. Although, you should eat the high iron foods because they are healthy and good for you, of course!

I'm commenting to recommend a vegan iron supplement. I take Vitamin Code Iron. It is fantastic and doesn't make my stomach hurt like other iron supplements have. I generally take it late in the day at a time that I'm not drinking coffee (it inhibits iron absorption, but I don't think you drink coffee anyway).

I also take Vitamin Code B-12 every day. I find it's a fantastic mood stabilizer.

You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more energy you will have when you start taking iron supplements!

designerd said...

Also, don't forget your Omega 3-6-9's!!! VERY important for the ADHD.